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No ceramics, no strops. Bad idea?

Recent Forums Main Forum Techniques and Sharpening Strategies No ceramics, no strops. Bad idea?

This topic contains 18 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by  Anarchy84 07/19/2017 at 12:21 pm.

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 19 total)
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  • #40041

    Anarchy84
    Participant

      Greetings!

      I’ve been collecting high end production / mid range customs for several years now, and while I’m obsessed with carrying scary sharp knives, I’ve always left he sharpening to the pros. Now, after putting it off for ‘one more knife purchase’ numerous times, I’ve finally taken the plunge and bought myself a Wicked Edge – the 2017 Gen 3 Pro.

      Prior to making the purchase I watched countless hours of video and read through as many posts as I could on this forum. As a result, in order to satisfy my need for the sharpest edges I can possibly get, I decided to forgo ceramic stones and strops entirely. The stones, platens and diamond lapping films I ordered are as follows:

      100-1000 grit diamond

      1500 grit diamond / glass platen (6 micron film)

      Glass / glass platen (3 micron, 1 micron film)

      Glass / glass platen (0.5 micron, 0.1 micron film)

      In my mind this progression seems great. I don’t run the risk of a convex edge with leather strops and I save time by using the 1500 + diamond lapping films rather than using ceramics.

      While I enjoy a polished edge, I don’t need to read the paper in it. I’d just like it to be as sharp as possible. So my question is…will this provide the results I’m looking for? Could I obtain a sharper edge using other accessories that I did not purchase?

      I appreciate any and all input.

      Thanks!

      #40053

      dulledge
      Participant

        You are not alone, many reputable people on this forum prefer to use Diamond Lapping Film instead of ceramics

        http://knife.wickededgeusa.com/forums/topic/stone-sequence/#post-36201

        Another question is if it makes better sense to use bevel and micro-bevel technique. While your technique is better for shaving, but the edge without micro-bevel is not very durable. Toothy micro-bevel cuts meats, veggies and anything else just great.

        2 users thanked author for this post.
        #40058

        MarcH
        Moderator

          In my opinion and based on my experience an edge finished with Diamond Film is extremely sharp and polished but not very smooth.  It catches and snags for me when trying to cut newspaper to ribbons as a sharpness test.  I like to lower my angle setting from my last film by 1-1/2 degrees and hit it with leather strops with 1.0/0.5 micron Diamond Emulsion.  This gives me a smooth, extremely sharp, very polished edge.

          Marc

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          #40061

          Mark76
          Keymaster

            Welcome to the forum, Anarchy! I use the progression you describe if a want a very sharp edge, so I think that’s ok. If you want to go any further, you get in the area of strops and stropping compounds. When we’re talking < 0.5 micron, I’d recommend either the kangaroo or the nanocloth strops. By the way, MarcH has a point that stropping can smooth the edge. But you should be careful, since if you use leather, you run the risk of rounding the edge.

            Molecule Polishing: my blog about sharpening with the Wicked Edge

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            #40064

            Anarchy84
            Participant

              Awesome. I appreciate all the feedback! Thank you. 👍🏻

              #40065

              MarcH
              Moderator

                I like to lower my angle setting from my last film by 1-1/2 degrees and hit it with leather strops with 1.0/0.5 micron Diamond Emulsion. This gives me a smooth, extremely sharp, very polished edge.

                Just to add a point…after stropping many knives, using them and also visually evaluating the edge under a USB microscope,  I have found, for me, that any angle lower than 1-1/2 degrees will indeed result in some rounding of the edge or apex.  Higher than 1-1/2 degrees will work OK too but I believe it smooths the shoulder more then the toothyness of the edge.

                 

                 

                Marc

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                #40066

                Anarchy84
                Participant

                  I like to lower my angle setting from my last film by 1-1/2 degrees and hit it with leather strops with 1.0/0.5 micron Diamond Emulsion. This gives me a smooth, extremely sharp, very polished edge.

                  Just to add a point…after stropping many knives, using them and also visually evaluating the edge under a USB microscope, I have found, for me, that any angle lower than 1-1/2 degrees will indeed result in some rounding of the edge or apex. Higher than 1-1/2 degrees will work OK too but I believe it smooths the shoulder more then the toothyness of the edge.

                  After you finish with the films and move to the strop, does it take considerable time to smooth the edge or is it just a matter of a few strokes?

                  #40067

                  MarcH
                  Moderator

                    It’s just matter of a few strokes….8 or 10 to each side with each grit.  It almost takes longer to change the angle setting than to polish it.

                    Marc

                    #40068

                    Anarchy84
                    Participant

                      Very cool. Thank you very much. I haven’t received my system yet (back order), but it’s nice to know there’s great people willing to help a newbie if I have any questions.

                      #40070

                      Organic
                      Participant

                        I have become a recent convert to the use of strops. I had been having issues with my technique and wasn’t obtaining the results that I was hoping for, but lowering the angle by 1.5-2 degrees per side fixed the issue and now I strop every knife I sharpen. It is imperative that you use an angle cube to measure the angle change rather than relying on the pre-marked angle settings on the Wicked Edge because these are not accurate for every knife and will lead you astray. Like MarcH said, just a few passes with the strops can noticeably improve how smoothly a knife cuts.

                        If you’re interested in what stropping does to an edge, I would encourage you to read Mark76’s excellent blog posts on the subject.

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                        #40072

                        Anarchy84
                        Participant

                          I have become a recent convert to the use of strops. I had been having issues with my technique and wasn’t obtaining the results that I was hoping for, but lowering the angle by 1.5-2 degrees per side fixed the issue and now I strop every knife I sharpen. It is imperative that you use an angle cube to measure the angle change rather than relying on the pre-marked angle settings on the Wicked Edge because these are not accurate for every knife and will lead you astray. Like MarcH said, just a few passes with the strops can noticeably improve how smoothly a knife cuts. If you’re interested in what stropping does to an edge, I would encourage you to read Mark76’s excellent blog posts on the subject.

                          Thanks Organic! I have purchased the angle cube with the Gen 3 Pro, along with a chisel sharpie to verify the current bevels on my knives and a loupe to inspect my grind patterns. I haven’t sprung for a USB microscope, but if there are any other nick nacks you’d recommend, please let me know.

                          #40080

                          MarcH
                          Moderator

                            Not to be a party pooper, Anarchy84, there’s a bit of a learning curve and a break-in period to get past with your new WE System before you have to worry about the fine tuning aspects of your sharpened edge.

                            There is a general technique to employ when sharpening knives but many of us have picked and chosen various parts and aspects of each other’s techniques and put that together and refined and individualized it into our own personal techniques.  I think you need to develop your technique and become comfortable using it with your broke in stones,  see some results of your efforts, then these conversations will really make practical sense to you.

                            Marc

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                            #40082

                            Anarchy84
                            Participant

                              Oh absolutely. I have no delusions of grandeur when it comes to my initial results. I have a drawer full of kitchen knives and cheap pocket knives to practice on, and I fully expect it will be quite a while before I take a stone to any knife in my collection. I simply want to have everything I need to achieve the results I’m looking for before I begin the struggle.

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                              #40084

                              MarcH
                              Moderator

                                The common issue I’ve seen is, at the beginning, before the stones are broken in and good technique is learned, developed and put into practice, sharpening results don’t meet expectations and users become disillusioned with the system feeling it’s not that good, over-rated, or not for them.  It’s OK to get excited.  Get your hopes up.  It will meet your expectations.  It just takes a while before you’ll see you’re true ability with your WE.

                                I’ve been at it for several years and I’m still learning and improving my technique and results.  I got excellent results a long time ago but I’m still improving on them as I set my standards and goals higher.

                                Marc

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                                #40085

                                Anarchy84
                                Participant

                                  No doubt. I’ve had a lot of my knives sharpened professionally on the system. Josh at REK has done a few. The results can be spectacular. Now it’s up to me to learn how to achieve them.

                                  I appreciate your help and guidance.

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